Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100 — Which Should You Go For?

A comparison of cameras such as the Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100 has never been easy: Especially when you’re caught in between which to go for. The difficulty is due to the similarities between these two amateur cameras.

It is our job to make such decisions easier for you. We accomplish this by comparing in detail these two cameras. As much as they bear a good number of similarities, there are still features that set them apart. Hence, we discuss unique features as well as the unique pros and cons of these cameras.

Since these cameras will be used in the real world, we share the major feelings of those who have used these cameras. All these and more are embedded in this comparison post.

Table of Contents

Comparison Overview – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

The Nikon D3200 is an entry-level DSLR while the Nikon D5100 is an upper-entry DSLR camera. This distinction by the Nikon Company has made some folks refer to the D3200 as a beginner’s camera and the D5100 as an amateur camera.

This, however, is not the case as there are only three categories of DSLR cameras. These are amateur/beginner, enthusiast/semi-professional, and professional camera. Most entry-level and upper-entry level cameras are usually amateur cameras.

The D3200 is available in two body colors which are black and red. The D5100, on the other hand, can only be gotten in black body color.

When it comes to imaging, the Nikon D3200 does better than the D5100 with its higher sensor resolution.

The only standout and visible feature that truly separates these cameras is the articulating screen possessed by the Nikon D5100. Apart from this, these cameras are quite the same.

The Nikon D3200 was eventually replaced by the Nikon D3300 while the Nikon D5100 was replaced by the Nikon D5200.

You can also check out this Nikon D3400 vs D5300 comparison as both cameras are from the D3XXX and D5XXX series: The same as the ones in this comparison.

Price/Value Ratio – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

Which camera offers more value for money?

The Nikon D3200 offers more value for money than the Nikon D5100. Although both cameras are not expensive, the D3200 is the cheaper of the two. Despite being at a lower level than the D5100, the Nikon D3200 has some features that make it more valuable.

These features include a flash sync port, UHS memory card support, higher sensor resolution, a higher screen resolution, an improved image processor, more video options, less shutter delay, better color depth, faster startup time.

Comparison Table – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

  Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100
Announcement Date 19th April 2012 5th April 2011
Dimensions 125 x 96 x 77 mm 128 x 97 x 79 mm
Weight 505g 560g
Sensor Size 23.2 x 15.4 mm 23.6 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Resolution 24.2 megapixels 16.1 megapixels
ISO 100 – 6400 (boosted up to 12800) 100 – 6400 (boosted up to 25600)
Dynamic Range 13.2 EVs 13.6 EVs
Color Depth 24.1 bits 23.5 bits
Low Light ISO 1131 1183
Screen Resolution 921,000 dots 920,000 dots
Articulating Screen No Yes
Battery Life 540 shots 660 shots
Startup Time 0.3 seconds 0.5 seconds
Shutter Lag 0.21 seconds 0.273 seconds

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Watch the visual comparison of the Nikon D3200 and the Nikon D5100 below.

What is Each Best For – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100
The D3200 is a better portrait camera than the D5100. This is majorly due to its higher sensor resolution as well as better color depth. The Nikon D5100 is better when it comes to street photography than the D3200. Its larger sensor and fully articulated screen (which the D3200 lacks) gives it a distinct edge.
Although the D5100 has a wider dynamic range than the D3200, the D3200 still is the better-landscaped photography.

First of all, the difference between the dynamic ranges is negligible and may not be observed in real-world applications.

Apart from that, the higher resolution makes the Nikon D3200 a better landscape camera.
The Nikon D5100 doesn’t perform as well as the D3200.

Daily photography requires constant movement and having a heavy camera won’t help matters.

The D3200 is slightly lighter than the D5100; which is just one of the edges the former has over the latter in terms of daily photography.
The Nikon D5100 doesn’t perform as well as the D3200.

Common Features – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

The following are the similarities between the D3200 and the D5100.

i. Screen size

ii. Sensor format and type

iii. Viewfinder

iv. Lens mount and lenses

v. Continuous shooting speed

vi. Autofocus system

vii. Built-in flash

viii. Hot shoe

ix. Microphone jack

x. Video recording

Let’s discuss these common features in detail.


You’ll need to view your images after they are captured as well as your camera’s control and settings. These among others are the job of the screen also called display screen.

The size of a screen is also a big deal these days as we continue to see an increase in the screen size of cameras and even smartphones.

The Nikon D3200 and the Nikon D5100 both boast an impressive 3.0 inches LCD screen.

Sensor Format and Type

Anyone familiar with cameras understands how important a sensor is. It plays a major role in deciding your image quality. 

When we look at the D3200 and the D5100, we discover that these cameras make use of an APS-C format also called the DX-format by the Nikon Company.

The APS-C sensor type is a medium-sized sensor and is a perfect balance and match for these cameras. The size of the sensor is also important as well. A bigger sensor will offer better low-light sensitivity, better single pixels, broader dynamic range, richer color depth, and better control in terms of depth-of-field.

Since the APS-C sensor is medium-sized, you don’t have too much to worry about concerning the weight. Naturally, a bigger sensor is bound to be heavier as well.  

The CMOS sensor type is used by these cameras. However, it is important to mention that the Nikon D3200 sensor type is manufactured by Nikon. On the other hand, the D5100’s sensor type is manufactured by Sony.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3200 Now!
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A viewfinder’s basic function is to allow proper framing and control of one’s shots. Without a viewfinder, most shots captured will be out of frame or framed wrongly: And this is not good for any picture.

Although, the display screen of a camera can be used in a way to perform the function of framing and shot control: The viewfinder does it much better.

Upon inspection of the D3200 and the D5100, you will discover that these cameras possess similar viewfinders. They both make use of an optical pentamirror eye-level viewfinder.  This type of viewfinder has its advantages and its disadvantages.

First of all, the use of an optical instead of an electronic (also known as digital) viewfinder is advantageous. An optical viewfinder does not require power for it to function. This is the opposite of an electronic viewfinder that consumes your battery’s power while in use. This consumption is bound to adversely affect your battery’s longevity.

A viewfinder is also made from either a pentamirror or pentaprism material. The Nikon D3200 and the D5100 both make use of the former which is a disadvantage.

The material used determines the amount of light that eventually passes through the viewfinder to the photographer’s eye. When we compare these materials (pentamirror and pentaprism), the pentaprism allows more light to pass through.

To use an eye-level viewfinder, the photographer has to place the viewfinder close to his eye. This allows proper framing even in very bright-light conditions. It does not interfere with the photographer’s vision.

The viewfinders used by both cameras have 95% coverage. However, when it comes to magnification, there’s a very minute difference: D3200 has 0.53x magnification while the Nikon D5100 has 0.52x magnification.

Lens Mount and Lenses

Both cameras in this comparison are interchangeable lens cameras. It simply means the lens of these cameras can be changed. However, a camera with this capacity must first make use of a lens mount.

A lens mount is that part of the camera that holds your lenses. The type of lens mount used by a camera determines the number of lenses you can use with your camera.

The Nikon D3200 and the D5100 like most of Nikon’s DSLR cameras make use of the Nikon F mount.

The advantage this mount gives these cameras is that they get to use up to 302 native lenses and 88 optical stabilization lenses. This means you have a variety of lenses to choose from depending on your desire. You are also offered the opportunity to make use of old lenses that are supported by the Nikon F mount.

For an amateur photographer, there are so many lenses to choose from as we mentioned above. However, one we would recommend to you is the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Lens.

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Continuous Shooting Speed

The continuous shooting mode popularly known as burst mode is an important feature, especially for sports and wildlife photographers. Burst mode allows you to capture several images continuously over a short period.

As we just said, sports and wildlife photographers enjoy this feature as it allows them to capture their subjects that are always on the move.

To effectively capture such a fast-moving subject; apart from other factors, your camera must have a fast continuous shooting speed.

The Nikon D3200 and the D5100 have a slow continuous shooting speed of 4 fps. This means that these cameras while in burst mode can only capture 4 shots per second.

The video below teaches you how to capture sports events with the Nikon D5100.

Autofocus System

These cameras also share similarities when we look at their autofocus system. Although there are a few differences, the major aspects are the same.

One aspect which stands out is the fact that both cameras employ the phase detection autofocus instead of contrast-detection autofocus. Is there any significance regarding this? Yes, there is; allow us to enlighten you.

A camera that uses a phase detection autofocus system instead of contrast-detection autofocus is better equipped for capturing sports events or wildlife.

It is a better autofocus system when you need to capture subjects that are constantly in motion. It can effectively capture these fast-moving subjects due to its autofocus tracking and continuous focusing.

These cameras are also capable of capturing great portrait photographs thanks to the face detection focus. With this feature, the D3200 and the D5100 can easily place a better focus on the face/faces of subjects within the frame.

Despite these pros, the phase detection autofocus still has some limitations which we’ll just list below:

i. The accurate focus may be difficult while capturing subjects with low contrast.

ii. Does not work properly in low light condition.

iii. When used with a wide aperture, there is a tendency that it will produce errors.

iv. It cannot be used in movie mode or live view mode.

v. Autofocus points cannot be placed near the frame’s edge.

These cameras also possess the same number of focus points and cross-type focus points: 11 focus points and 1 cross-type focus point is not worth bragging about though.

The focus points allow you to place better emphasis on certain points within your frame where these focus points are located. This allows for better-detailed images. Portrait photography benefits a great deal from having more focus points and cross-type focus points.

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Built-In Flash

A built-in flash simply allows you to capture a shot in a low-light environment. Fortunately, the Nikon D3200 and D5100 both have this feature which means you won’t get stranded in the dark.

The flashes of both cameras have a 13m guide number which is possible if the shot is captured at an ISO 100.  The built-in flash of these cameras can be used with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System.

Hot Shoe

A built-in flash is cool as it aids one out of a sticky situation. The issue, however, is that it can be limited in certain areas.

It doesn’t allow versatility of use, it causes red-eye effect, it lacks enough power and may not cover distant subjects. To this effect, most photographers still go about with an external flash to overcome these limitations.

The only cons they will have to contend with is the additional weight. Also, one needs to spend extra money to get an external flash which would wipe away the smile on the face of one on a tight budget.

So how does one make use of an external flash? Well, it has to be connected to a hot-shoe.

A hot shoe is a platform at the top of the camera whereby other accessories (usually an external flash) can be attached to. Therefore without a hot shoe, an external flash cannot be directly used with a camera.

The Nikon D3200 and the D5100 have a hot shoe feature which means these cameras support the direct use of an external flash.

If we are to recommend an external flash that is compatible as well as efficient for both cameras; our choice would be the Neewer TT560 Flash Speedlite.

Microphone Jack

The Nikon D3200 and the D5100 are both fitted with a built-in microphone which these cameras employ in capturing sound around them. In most cases, these built-in microphones don’t do justice to the quality of the audio produced.

Therefore to get high-quality audio, an external microphone like the Movo VXR10 Universal Video Microphone can be used with these cameras. All one needs to do is to connect the microphone to your camera via a microphone jack which these cameras provide.

If these cameras lacked the microphone jack feature, you won’t be able to use an external microphone with them: Fortunately, they do.

Video Recording

Both cameras in this comparison are capable of shooting 1920 x 1080p full HD videos at 30 frames per second. Also, the continuous autofocus allows your camera to focus on the subjects within the frame despite your movement while you shoot the video.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3200 Now!
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Unique Features – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

This section deals with those features that are found in one camera but not the other. Here, we begin to distinguish which of these cameras truly have the upper hand.

Unique Features of Nikon D3200 – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

The following are features that the D3200 has that the D5100 does not have:

i. Flash sync port

ii. UHS memory card support

Flash Sync Port

As we mentioned earlier, the Nikon D3200 and the D5100 are both fitted with a built-in flash that helps out in low-light conditions. We also said that these cameras can make use of an external flash via the hot shoe feature.

The D3200, however, takes it a step further in terms of lighting as it is capable of connecting with an off-camera flash. This is possible thanks to its flash sync port.

The flash sync port allows you to connect to one or several flashes that are placed at different positions around the shooting scene. When connected, immediately the shutter is pressed, these flashes light up to supply the needed light.

Portrait photographers make use of such flashes during their shoots.

UHS Memory Card Support

Another unique feature of the Nikon D3200 is its support for the UHS memory card.

With a UHS memory card, you can read and write files at Ultra High Speeds. Even file transfers are done at Ultra High Speeds of 104MB/s. However, this camera only supports the UHS-1 memory card.

Unique Features of Nikon D5100 – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

The following are features that the D5100 has that the D3200 does not have:

i. Articulating screen

ii. Time-lapse recording

iii. High dynamic range (HDR)

Articulating Screen

The Nikon D3200 and the D5100 share a good number of similarities in terms of their display screens. Nevertheless, an articulating screen is not one of them.

The display screen of the Nikon D5100 is a fully articulating screen. This gives the camera’s screen the flexibility to be swiveled, tilted, and turned.

This is a major advantage as this allows one to shoot and capture angles that are usually difficult with a fixed screen. Street and wildlife photographers truly understand this better than others.

Also, vloggers will truly cherish this camera as its screen can be fully turned to face the user. Plus, it is selfie-friendly.

Watch the screen settings tutorial for the Nikon D5100 below.

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Time-Lapse Recording

Time-lapse recording is one of the ways a photographer can showcase his creativity. It is used to make short videos out of several pictures about a particular object that has been captured over a while.

Sunsets or sunrise, traffic in the city, growing plants are just a few examples of what can be done with this feature.

The Nikon D5100 has a built-in intervalometer which is what allows one to perform a time-lapse video. This built-in intervalometer allows shooting to be done even at a low frequency which makes the entire shooting easier.  

If this feature is absent, one would need to buy an external camera trigger as well as the required software to perform this function.

High Dynamic Range (HDR)

With the D5100 you can perform High dynamic Range shooting. What does this mean?

When your shutter is pressed, your camera captures not one but two images with multi-exposure. It then combines these pictures to form one picture.

The result of such pictures is high-quality pictures that have higher contrasts, better details, better tones, and less noise. Also, the edges of these images can be smoothed to produce a single continuous image.

Unique Pros – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

Here, we compare the pros of both cameras. It is important to understand that unlike the unique features section, this section deals with features that both cameras possess.

The difference here is that one has an advantage over the other. Starting from the Nikon D3200, we discuss its pros and then examine the pros of the Nikon D5100.

Unique Pros of Nikon D3200 – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

Which is lighter D3200 or D5100?

The Nikon D3200 is 10% (55g) lighter than the Nikon D5100. It has a weight of 505g compared to the Nikon D5100’s 560g.

The lighter weight of the D3200 makes sense since it belongs to a lower level (entry-level) than the D5100 (upper-entry level).

This lightweight is consistent with how Nikon manufactures its cameras. Lower level cameras are usually lighter than higher-level counterparts.

The Nikon D3200 is, therefore, easier to carry about which makes it more preferred for amateurs.

Weight is an important deal when choosing a camera. The primary purpose of a camera is to capture amazing pictures and not to build up your biceps. Hence, a lighter camera is always preferred when picking cameras.

Weight is important because one has to carry these cameras along and sometimes it could be a whole day. Such a burden from a heavy camera does not make the job easy.

Plus, when choosing an interchangeable lens camera, you have to put into consideration the lens used will also add to the overall weight of your camera. Even accessories such as external flash, viewfinders, etc will add to the overall weight as well.

Click Here to Get the Nikon D3200 Now!
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Which is Smaller D3200 or D5100?

The D3200 is 3% smaller than the D5100. Its body size is 3mm narrower, 1mm shorter, and 2mm thinner. The Nikon D3200 has size dimensions of 125 x 96 x 77mm, while the Nikon D5100 has size dimensions of 128 x 97 x 79mm.

In most cases, a lower level camera is usually smaller than higher-level cameras. This is why the D3200 is the smaller of the two cameras. A portable camera like the Nikon D3200 can be easily packed when going on trips.

Another equally important factor when choosing a camera is its size. Portability is the craze these days and we even wish we could get a camera as tiny as our thumb that still delivers outstanding images.

Which is Cheaper D3200 or D5100?

The Nikon D3200 is 20% cheaper than the Nikon D5100 when we compare their launching price. The prices of both cameras reflect their category and level.

Cameras are becoming easier and less expensive to manufacture. Therefore, newer cameras tend to be cheaper than their older counterparts in the same category.

This is especially true when the camera under consideration is compared to a higher level camera. The cost of manufacturing a higher level camera is not the same as the cost of manufacturing a lower level camera.

This should have come first as the price of the camera ultimately determines if you purchase it or not. Even if you like all its specs and features and cannot afford it, you may end up going for another camera that you never intended.

Although the Nikon D3200 is the cheaper of the two cameras, the D5100 is the more discounted of the two. This is obviously because the D5100 has been on sales for a year longer than the D3200.  

Which has a Higher Sensor Resolution D3200 or D5100?

The Nikon D3200 has a 50% higher sensor resolution than the Nikon D5100. It has 24.2 megapixels while the D5100 has 16.1 megapixels.

With a higher sensor resolution, your camera will capture a better-detailed image than one with a lower sensor resolution.

 The higher sensor resolution of the D3200 also allows you to crop your images as well as print out larger images. You can carry out thee actions without the fear of losing quality via grain appearance and blur.

Even though a higher sensor resolution gives a camera an edge over another with lower resolution, it does not automatically make for a better picture. The lens used, the lighting, composition, and other important factors can also affect or determine the picture quality.

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Which has a Higher Screen Resolution D3200 vs D5100?

The Nikon D3200 has a higher screen resolution of 921,000 dots while the D5100 has 920,000 dots. This means the latter has 1,000 dots of scree resolution more than the former.

Hence, the D3200 will produce a higher screen-picture quality than the Nikon D5100.

The screen resolutions of both cameras are fitting for their category. Although they possess the same screen size, there is a little difference between their screen resolutions.

Which has an Improved Image Processor D3200 or D5100?

The D3200 is fitted with the newer and improved EXPEED 3. The D5100, on the other hand, sports the older EXPEED 2.

The advantages of this improvement include faster processing speed, better color accuracy, and noise reduction.

The JPEG images produced by the D3200 are bound to be better than the D5100 due to this newer image processor.

In most cases, the image processor level used by cameras depends on their newness. New cameras usually have newer image processors than their older counterparts. This is the same with the Nikon D3200 and the D5100.

Which has More Video Options D3200 or D5100?

The D3200 has the advantage of being able to shoot 720p videos at 60fps. Although both cameras can shoot full HD videos, the Nikon D3200 has the ability to capture a better slow-motion video than the Nikon D5100.

Which has a Better Color Depth D3200 or D5100?

The Nikon D3200 has a better color depth than the Nikon D5100. It has a color depth of 24.1 bits while the latter has a color depth of 23.5 bits.

Color depth greatly influences a camera’s performance during portrait photography. Even the DxO company refers to color depth as ‘DxO portrait’.

The color depth of a camera is the measurement of the sensor’s sensitivity in producing detailed and distinct colors. The color depth is measured in bits.

A camera with a higher color depth tends to produce images that are richer in color than one with lower color depth.

Which has Less Shutter Delay D3200 or D5100?

The Nikon D3200 has less shutter delay than the Nikon D5100. The former has a shutter delay of 0.21 seconds, while the latter has 0.273 seconds shutter delay.

The time between when the shutter is pressed and the actual saving of your picture is referred to as shutter lag or shutter delay.

During this brief period, the camera is inactive as it saves your captured image. Less shutter delay allows you to capture images faster as you don’t have to wait for long while your camera saves your picture.

Check out the shutter lag of the Nikon D3200 in a real-life test.

Which has a Faster Startup Time D3200 or D5100

The D3200 has a 20% faster startup time than the D5100. The startup times of both cameras are 0.40 seconds and 0.5 seconds respectively. The difference is so minute it won’t be noticeable in real-life experience.

Another factor that deals with the time performance of these cameras is startup time. As the name implies, it is the time required by your camera to become operational after the power button has been pressed.

A camera with a slow startup time can make you miss certain amazing shots, especially for wildlife photographers.

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Unique Pros of Nikon D5100 – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

Which has a Larger Sensor D5100 or D3200?

The Nikon D5100 has a 3.05% larger sensor than that of the D3200. The sensor dimension for the D5100 is 23.6 x 15.6 mm and 23.2 x 15.4 mm for the Nikon D3200.  

Due to this negligible difference, the crop factors of these cameras’ sensors are different as well. The older camera (D5100) has a crop factor of 1.5x while the newer camera (D3200) has a 1.6x crop factor. The native aspect ratios of both sensors are the same though with a value of 3:2.

A larger sensor, when compared with a smaller one, can detect more details during image capturing. It has a great influence on your camera’s low-light sensitivity, dynamic range, color depth, individual pixels, and depth-of-field control.

Which has a Higher Extended Maximum ISO D5100 or D3200?

The Nikon D5100 has twice the extended maximum ISO of the Nikon D3200. The latter peaks at 12,800 while the former reaches up to 25600.

Although both cameras possess the same ISO range of 100 – 6400, the difference is seen when their ISOs get boosted.

ISO deals with your sensor’s sensitivity to make use of the light available to produce an image.

A higher ISO number means the camera is capable of capturing a clear image in a low light environment without the need for a flash.

The issue with using very high ISO during image capture is the tendency for grain or noise to occur. A user who lacks the skills to carefully balance the ISO and the shutter balance will always have this trouble.

Which has a Wider Dynamic Range D5100 or D3200?

The D5100 has a wider dynamic range than the D3200. It has a dynamic range of 13.6 EVs while the D3200 has a dynamic range of 13.2 EVs: That is about 3.03% wider.

The dynamic range (also known as the DxO landscape) is the range between the brightest and darkest points a camera can capture. It is useful for landscape photography.

Which has Better Low Light ISO D5100 or D3200?

The Nikon D5100 has better low-light ISO than the D3200. They have low-light ISO values of 1,183 and 1,131 respectively.

The low-light ISO measures the sensor’s sensitivity in capturing images in low-light. It is also of use during sports and indoor events.

A higher low-light ISO (DXO Sports) means such a camera tends to produce less noise when pictures are captured in low-light conditions.  

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Which has Longer Battery Life D5100 or D3200?

The D5100 has a 20% longer battery life than the D3200. The former can shoot 660 shots after being fully charged while the latter can take just 540 shots.

Interestingly, both cameras make use of the same EN-EL14 Lithium-Ion battery.

Unique Cons – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

Unique Cons of Nikon D3200 – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

i. Lacks an articulated screen

Unique Cons of Nikon D5100 – Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100

i. No flash sync port

Common Pros

  Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100
AutoFocus Tracking This feature allows you to track subjects that are in motion. Once the subject is being locked onto, no matter the movement of the subject, there will still be that autofocus on it.

The Nikon D3200 proudly has this feature.
Same as Nikon D3200
RAW Supported Not all cameras support RAW formats. For a camera such as the D3200 to possess this feature is commendable.

RAW images are of the highest picture quality you will find. Their high-quality level which hasn’t been tampered with during capture allows one to easily edit this kind of picture.
Same as Nikon D3200
AE Bracketing The AE bracketing settings allows one to shoot in tough lighting conditions.

It is an automatic feature that easily adjusts your camera’s settings to suit the lighting condition wherein you find yourself.

This feature is found in the Nikon D3200.
Same as Nikon D3200
Click Here to Get the Nikon D3200 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!

Common Cons

  Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100
No Image Stabilization The Nikon D3200 does not have a built-in image stabilization feature which makes it susceptible to producing blurred images.

To correct this, one would have to make use of any of the 88 optical stabilization lenses that can be used with this camera.
Same as Nikon D3200
No Built-In GPS The D3200 also lacks a built-in GPS. Hence, the camera is unable to geo-tag which is becoming something of a big deal these days, particularly for wildlife and landscape photographers. 

Although the camera lacks a built-in GPS feature, you can still make use of this feature if it is really important to you.

All you need to do is purchase an adapter that allows you to make use of the GPS feature with your Nikon D3200 camera.
Same as Nikon D3200
No Panorama A panoramic photo is created by stitching several pictures together.

The D3200 cannot perform this as it lacks the panoramic feature.
Same as Nikon D3200
No Touch-Screen With a touch-screen, accessibility, and control of the Nikon D3200 would have been much easier. However, the camera lacks this feature. Same as Nikon D3200
No Environmental Sealing A camera with environmental sealing is protected from the interferences of the elements of weather.

Alas, the Nikon D3200 is not one of such cameras as it lacks this feature.
Same as Nikon D3200
Single Storage Card Slot To cope with storage, most folks prefer a camera with a double card slot.

Whereas, the D3200 sports just a single storage card slot and supports the SD, SDHC and SDXC formats.
Same as Nikon D3200
No Built-in Wi-Fi This camera lacks a built-in Wi-Fi thereby negating wireless connectivity between your camera and a supported device.

Despite the lack of a built-in Wi-Fi, the D3200 can still make use of an adapter that allows for wireless image transfer.
The Nikon D5100 also lacks a built-in Wi-Fi just like the D3200.

Unfortunately, it does not have the provision for an adapter like the Nikon D3200 does.
No Fine-Tuning AF Micro Adjustment feature allows one to fine-tune/adjust the D3200’s autofocus. Same as Nikon D3200

Check out these other interesting comparison articles below:

Nikon D5200 vs D5000 – Extensive Comparison

Nikon D5100 vs D3000 – Which is Better For You?

Nikon D5100 vs Canon T3i – Which Should You Go For?

Nikon D5100 vs Canon 1100D – Which Should You Choose?

Nikon D40 vs D3300 – In-depth Comparison

Nikon D3300 vs D5000 – Which is Better For You?

General Feeling among Users

Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100
Despite being an entry-level camera, most users were not pleased with the Nikon D3200’s battery life. The Nikon D5100’s battery life has 120 more shots than the Nikon D3200 as an improvement. That, however, did not prevent users from also not being pleased with the camera’s performance 
Many users are glad about the price of the Nikon D3200. They feel the manufacturers were true to their word when they said it will be an amateur camera indeed. The same feeling targeted at the D3200 is the same as that which they said about the Nikon D5100.  

Nikon D3200 vs Nikon D5100 — FAQs

What lens is compatible with Nikon D5100?

Here are the lenses that are compatible with the Nikon D5100:

Standard Lenses

AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8G

AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G

AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 G

AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 D

AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 D

Sigma 50mm F1.4 EX DG HSM

Zoom lenses

AF-S VR Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED

AF-S NIKKOR 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED

AF-S DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM

Sigma 70-300mm F4-5.6 DG OS

Wide-Angle Lenses

AF-S DX 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5G ED

AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G DX

AF Nikkor 24mm f/2.8D

Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM

Tokina 12-24mm f/4 AT-X 124 AF Pro DX II

Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X 116 Pro DX

Macro Lenses

AF-S Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED

AF-S DX Micro-Nikkor 40mm f/2.8G

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS Macro

Tamron 90mm f/2.8 SP Di MACRO 1:1 VC USDTokina 100mm f/2.8 AT-X M100 AF Pro D Macro

Can Nikon D5100 take videos?

The Nikon D5100 can take videos. It has excellent video recording with contrast detection autofocusing that provides face detection and tracking. You can also enjoy image stabilization; if provided by the lens in use.

The D5100 records video in full HD (1920 x 1080) and 720p (1280 x 720) at 24 fps, 25 fps, and 30 fps in MPEG-4/H.264 AVC formats.

The Nikon D5100 has monaural audio recording thanks to the built-in microphone, and stereo audio recording when paired with an external microphone.

Is Nikon D5100 a good camera for beginners?

The Nikon D5100 is a good DSLR camera for beginners. It belongs to the amateur camera category which makes it suitable and affordable for any beginner photographer.

The D5100 like most entry-level cameras is made of plastic. This means you don’t need to worry about breaking your camera. But it doesn’t mean it is indestructible.

Designed with a 3-inch LCD screen with live view mode, you can shoot using the Nikon D5100’s screen as a live viewfinder. This saves you the hassle of using the main viewfinder which is pretty much a professional photographer thing.

The D5100 is also light weight; weighing just 560g. This is good news for beginners who don’t want to trot about town with a gym equipment for a camera.

How do I download pictures from my Nikon D3200 to my iPhone?

You can download pictures from your Nikon D3200 to your iPhone using the following methods

Apple lightning-to-USB camera adapter

To transfer your pictures from the D3200 to your iPhone via this method, just connect a USB cable into your camera and connect it to this adapter. Then plug the adapter into your iPhone’s lightning port.

The photo app on your phone will launch. When it does, tap “Import” to download your pictures. You can select the pictures you want or just tap “Import all” to download all your pictures.

Apple lightning-to-SD-card camera reader

Unlike the adapter above, you cannot connect it to your Nikon D3200. To use this method, remove your camera’s SD card and insert it into the card reader adapter. Then connect the adapter to the lightning port of your iPhone.

When the photo app launches, go ahead with the same process of importing as described above.

Final Thoughts

Nikon D3200 Nikon D5100
The entry-level camera known as the Nikon D3200 is impressive. Its picture quality is amazing for its level and the price makes it something anybody can easily get. Although the D5100 has been in the market longer, it still has features that make it amazing. Chief among them is its fully articulated screen.
Click Here to Get the Nikon D3200 Now!
Click Here to Get the Nikon D5100 Now!


Victor is a student of mass communication with special focus on digital media. He has an insatiable craving for knowledge. When he is not learning new things, he is busy writing about them.